In the Caribbean, local aid helps tackle a surge in Venezuelan asylum seekers

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Until a week ago, Enrique Ceballos was a High Court judge in eastern Venezuela. But now he’s waiting on a plastic chair outside an NGO-run registration centre for asylum seekers in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.

Read my article for IRIN News.

Op Curaçao voltrekt zich een humanitair drama (en Nederland verdraait zijn nek bij het wegkijken)

Venezolanen die naar Curaçao vluchten, worden vaak direct uitgezet zonder dat zij de kans krijgen asiel aan te vragen. Dit is in strijd met het internationale recht op bescherming, stelde Amnesty maandag in een rapport. Ik reisde eerder af naar Curaçao, sprak daar met vluchtelingen en zocht uit wat de verantwoordelijkheid van Nederland is.

The battle over gold gold buried in a Colombian mountain

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Some 1,300 metres above sea level, where millennia-long tectonic movements pushed golden veins to the upper crusts of the earth, sits an ancient town.

The village now is at the centre of an international legal battle, because of a free trade agreement that enables multinational companies to claim high sums of money from the Colombian state at a World Bank tribunal if projects are perceived to be unrightfully halted or blocked.

Read my article for VICE Canada.

Die andere vluchtelingencrisis: hoe Colombia volstroomt met wanhopige Venezolanen


San José de Cúcuta, Colombia: de zon brandt meedogenloos op de hoofden van de honderden Venezolanen die al vier uur in de rij staan voor het Colombiaanse immigratiekantoor bij de Bolívar Brug. Zakjes water worden uitgedeeld in een tent van het Rode Kruis, waar migranten ook van een internetverbinding en telefoon gebruik kunnen maken om familieleden van hun soms dagenlange tocht op te hoogte te houden.

Lees mijn verhaal voor Vrij Nederland.

As Colombia tightens its border, more Venezuelan migrants brave clandestine routes


It’s about the distance of a drive from Berlin to Athens. The 2,219-kilometre long Colombian-Venezuelan border has long been porous and difficult to manage. There are seven official crossings, but nearly 300 clandestine trails, called trochas, are fought over for control by various illegal armed groups, used by smugglers and crossed daily by thousands of migrants, often at great risk.

Read my article for IRIN News.

Indigenous Yukpa face humanitarian crisis after fleeing Venezuela


Cucuta, Colombia – A pink stroller is surrounded by rubbish where children covered in dirt linger around a makeshift camp under a bridge in Colombia’s Cucuta.

The anesthetised gaze in the children’s eyes reflects their precarious health situation which worsens by the week.

Read my article for Al Jazeera.

Half a million and counting: Venezuelan exodus puts new strains on Colombian border town


The town of Cúcuta offers few jobs, little shelter and much crime, but for Venezuelan migrants it’s better than home

The sun is burning at the Colombian border town of Cúcuta. Red Cross workers attend to people with dehydration and fatigue as hundreds of Venezuelans line up to have their passports stamped, covering their heads with clothing and cardboard to fashion what shade they can.

Read my article for IRIN News.

Maduro seeks sell off of Venezuela’s natural resources to escape debt – analysis


President Nicolás Maduro, an enigmatic smile blossoming beneath his tradmark mustache, proudly displays a gold ingot to the Venezuelan press. The metal is reportedly part of a batch dug and processed inside the Arco Minero, a vast area covering 112,000 square kilometers (43,243 square miles), south of the Orinoco River and in the Venezuelan Amazon.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the Arco Minero, a minerals expert who asks not to be named out of concern for his safety, flashes an even bigger smile as he casts doubt on the authenticity of that ingot and of the first batch of Arco Minero gold.

Read my article for Mongabay.